Since our last message regarding the H5N1 outbreak in France, the outbreak in France has improved slightly. The number of confirmed new cases has fallen for the second week in succession.

Since our last message regarding the H5N1 outbreak in France, we have been able to establish some updates on the situation with the help of our friends at St David's Game Bird Services, which we wanted to share with our membership as soon as we could.   

The outbreak in France has improved slightly. The number of confirmed new cases has fallen for the second week in succession. As you can see from the maps attached (see this link), there has been an expansion east into Maine-et-Loire area. The numbers of cases in this departmente  appear to be slowing.     

As of April 14, 2022, France has had 1,278 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in breeding and commercial birds. 46 cases in wild birds, and 25 cases in backyard flocks.  

Specifically in the last 6 days there have been:  

7 cases in Vendée   

1 case in Loire-Atlantique  

12 cases in Maine-et-Loire  

As with our own Defra, the French authorities continue to review the level of risk in terms of avian influenza spread periodically. The hope is that once the number of cases is low enough, the risk level will be reduced, and the blanket restriction zone will be removed.  

This will leave just the circular surveillance zones around each of the infected premises in the region. There is still no agreement between the French, English and European Commission regarding the exportation of eggs from within these restriction zones. Sadly, this is unlikely to change for a multitude of reasons.  

We are continuing to work hard with the Game Farmers Association, Defra and their French counterpart, the APHA, and gamebird specialist vets.   

Our advice remains the same: plan your business on the premise that the bulk of eggs will not be arriving from France for the majority of this rearing season. There is a small hope that a slight increase in eggs will happen once the blanket restriction zone is removed. However, we have no concrete idea of the timescale on this, and this slight increase in supply will only be enough to supply a small percentage of orders.  

Members are advised to maintain close contact with your suppliers. This is a fast-evolving situation, and we will continue to update members as soon as we know of any further developments. 

 

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